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Happening Now

News/Business. Jon Scott, Jenna Lee. Breaking news reports. New.

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Us 26, Peterson 11, Washington 11, Missouri 9, Kansas City 7, Oklahoma 6, Illinois 6, China 6, Duane 5, Dr. Baden 5, Jon 5, Boeing 5, Virginia 5, U.s. 5, Kansas 5, Iran 5, Lifelock 5, Rick Folbaum 4, Obama 4, Jenna 4,
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  FOX News    Happening Now    News/Business. Jon Scott, Jenna  
   Lee. Breaking news reports. New.  

    February 21, 2013
    8:00 - 9:59am PST  

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bill: it's only fitting. an otter dunking a basketball. oregon zoo, the ripe age of 15 he is suffering from arthritis of the elbows. the trainers trained him to dunk and they give him a treat every time he does it. martha: an incredible story of good will this mourn. this bride you see with her fiance in a picture from the "new york post" today lost her three carat diamond engagement ring, that is a big one at the subway station in new york city. two months later she saw the subway station attendant who was working that day. she asked him, did anyone find my ring a couple of months ago? lo and behold it had been sitting there in an envelope next to the cash register. the woman who found it did not speak english, she gave it to her in a little bag. she said she new it was an
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engagement ring and never would have kept it. she was waiting for her to come back. bill: there is a new study martha that says woman actually talk more than men. 13,000 more words every single day. researchers found that women's brain have higher levels of language protein. another reason girls also learn to speak earlier and more quickly than boys. martha: that is no big surprise. they are basically smarter. i don't think they counted the word on this particular show. we are going to do a word count, see who talks more, me or bill. [laughter] martha: for once he has nothing to say. bill: they needed a study for that? martha: we are going to count the words. bill: have a great day, everybody. martha: bye everybody, see you tomorrow. jon: and we begin with a fox weather alert. a massive storm sweeping across the heartland. already it is blamed nor one death in oklahoma.
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this is a system bringing dangerous weather to just about half the nation. some areas are bracing for a foot and a half of snow, some ice as well. we are keeping a close eye on the storm's path. a live report later in the hour. but first right now, brand-new stories and breaking news. jenna: a new threat, this one not coming from north korea or iran, we're going to tell but a mysterious death now tkpwhraeuplddeath now blamed, jon on spontaneous combustion. why the lead investigator in the oscar pistorius case is being replaced. the moment of eufpl packet at a deadly explosion at a restaurant in oklahoma. it's all "happening now." first we want to get back to that deadly storm that is really affecting so many of you. we are glad you are with us
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today, everybody i'm jenna lee. jon: i'm jon scott. the winter storm warnings and advisories are in effect from new mexico to virginia, parts of the central plains bracing for 18 inches of snow. one driver in oklahoma died when his pickup spun out of control and ran into oncoming traffic. fleets of plows and salt spread tkers are getting ready to deal with dangerous road conditions. airlines are canceling hundreds of flights which could cause a travel nightmare at airports all across the country. in some areas the storm is packing heavy rain, hail and dangerous winds. nebraska, one state bracing for some of the heaviest snow. mike tobin is live for us in ohm a ha, what is the situation there righohm aowe ma sha. the equipment is remarkable that they are getting ready. this is called a tow plow.
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a normal snowplow up here hauling salt. when you get to the back here the tow plow end of it, this giant blade on a trail her come down and this trailer all kicks out to the side and as it goes down the road it really looks like a truck that is jack knifing and gives them the ability to clear two and a half lanes at the same time. they've got 30 of these trucks working just omaha alone, they have everyone on staff working 12-hour sheufplts looks like the shift that is just about to take over is going to get the worst of it as the weather rolls in. jon: the little boy in me loves that truck. i've got to say, mike. what about the temperatures, though? at some point salt is not effective on roads, right? >> reporter: i can you. talking about the truck here. you see these tanks that they've got on the side, if it's not that cold they haul brian and that activates the salt. because if this is going to be very cold they fill this up with
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geomelt, it keeps the salt active in the very cold temperatures. don't worry that it's bad for the environment, it's made out of beats. jon: and the beat farmers are happy as well. jenna: next friday automatic across the board spending cuts will take effect. we are getting a look right now about the kind of impact the sequester could really have on the economy if no deal is reached before the deadline. chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel is live in washington with this. mike, what is the practical impact the real impact that many of us would feel from se sequestration? >> the automatic cuts are half domestic, after defense. he tkpepding on your interaction with the government, if you work or do business with the government you may be affected more. today the agriculture secretary raised the impact on the food on our tables. >> the only way we can absorb a cut of this magnitude is by impacting the people who work in
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the food safety area of usda, and we all know that when we do that it doesn't just impact those workers, it impacts all the processing facilities and plants and proceed tucks facilities across the country. >> reporter: the suggestion being that could lead to restaurants and supermarkets struggling to stay stocked with properly inspected food, jenna. jenna: that certainly hits home. we've hoard from republicans and democrats how drastic of an impact this might be in a whole slew of different ways. there is another side to it. there are those who believe that it may not be that big of a deal, believe it or not. what can you tell us about that. >> reporter: everybody agrees the nature of these cuts across the board is not deal. it would be nice to prioritize, but one expert on special report with bret baier said don't believe the doomsday scenarios. >> the kind of things you hear about, you know, the sequester causing a recession, it's impossible for that to happen. this is $85 billion, it's a
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$3.6 trillion budget, it's going to come and go without much notice. it's a $16 trillion economy, this is not going to trigger the economy. >> reporter: meanwhile we are in full blame game, finger-pointing mode in washington. congressional republicans blaming the white house, the white house blaming congress, others predict this will all be much worse. folks in major military towns, for example, where bases and troops are their life blood are clearly worried about the impact they will have on mom and pop whic businesses, on restaurants unless something major happens when congress returns next week in some bipartisan nags we will soon get a sense of how much pain it will cause the american public. the cuts due to kick in a week from friday. jenna: can we do fox news alert when we are out of this finger-pointing mode? would you just let us know when that happens. we'll come to you live wherever you are. >> reporter: yeah, not any time soon. jenna: thank you. jon: while we are in the
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finger-poi talk more about the sequester's potential impact on our economy. bob cusack is managing editor of "the hill." to listen to the spin from the white house it's all doom and gloom, one would think that we are going to have a financial meltdown if and when this thing kicks in. what is really likely to happen here, bob? >> you know it remains to be seen. this is a high stakes showdown for both the white house as well as congressional republicans. remember, president obama last year during the debate with mitt romney said the sequester won't happen, so this is going to happen on his watch. at the same time obama's approval ratings arat a three-year high. there is risk for the g.o.p. here, the republicans are very flus traited with the white house, they are staying that the white house is not serious about spending cuts so they have to take whatever cuts they can get, even these spending reduction -gs, which they don't like, but they say something has to be done. jon: along those lines rich lowry of the national review wrote this regarding republicans. he said republicans want to
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blame president barack obama for the idea of the sequester even though they signed on to it as a bipartisan deal to get past the tkebl ceiling showdown of 2011. do they think that no one will remember that they voted for the deal? he does have a point. >> he does. it's a tough uphill climb i think for republicans. president obama has the bully pulpit of course and right now republicans are issuing press releases. they are not in town, congress is not in session. they'll be back next week, and it's really just a pr, finger-pointing blame game because neither side i think is serious about getting a solution. they are just not in serious discussions whatsoever. president obama has been talking to republicans on immigration but he's not been reaching out on this. jon: when newt gingrich's republican-led house shut down the government under the democratic president bill clinton, is there a president bush a hrea parallel here?
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>> there is somewhat of a parallel. there will be furloughs but the government won't be shut down. the government is funded through march 27th. there could be a deal to continue funding the government. republicans don't want a complete government shut down. come march 27th maybe they have a deal to both deal with the sequester and deal with funding the government. right now if congress does nothing, and it looks like that is going to happen the sequester will go into effect on friday. jon: let me point to you something else that rich lowry wrote, he says the sequester is designed to be crude and unappealing to all side, disproportionately and thoughtless lee hits defense spending and domestic discretionary spending. there is very little to recommend it other than it's actually a spending cut in washington where that is the rarest of creatures. republicans willing to get this thing go through hoping it gets us started down the road of budget cuts. is it months? >> it could be.
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there are some republicans especially on the armed services committee, like john mccain, lindsey graham, they are very nervous about these cuts, as well as how these cuts could affect other theufpblgts the white house put out other things. the white house put out food safety, workplace safety. anything that could be impacted by this sequester. the problem for republicans is the next workplace explosion or if there is a food safety problem in the country the white house will be able to say, i told you so. we spelled it out in this fact sheet and you did nothing. so the republicans are to blame, and right now the polls are on the white house' side and that is the problem for the g.o.p. jon: interesting. bob cusack from "the hill." bob, thank you. jenna: shock new twists in the murder case against "blade runner" oscar pistorius. the latest revelations from the prosecution that really could change everything in this case. back here at home a plane crash leaves five people dead and two
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other injured. the latest even on the investigatioon the investigation next? we heard noises and the dog was barking, and we couldn't figure out what they were barking at. we heard just like a boom -- [ lisa ] my name's lisa, and chantix helped me quit.
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. jon: right now five people are dead after a plane crash in georgia. the small jet skid eud off the runway at thompson-mcduffy county air for the last night. rick folbaum has more from our breaking news decks. >> reporter: the plane apparently landed and ran off the runway and crashed, the impact killing as you said five people on board, two others, including the pilot survived. this was a small, private plane, hawker beechcraft 390 premiere 1. in case you're familiar. the plane had taken off from nashville and was bringing a team of medical specialists to eastern georgia on business when the accident took place about
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8:00 last night. here are some of the first responders. >> everybody was calling saying a plane had crashed. >> state patrol we have a lot of troopers that live in mcduffy county. we have thompson police department. glasgow police department. four-wheel trucks were brought to help get us to the site. >> reporter: all five worked for the vein guys. they do surgery for people who have varicose veins. one of the survivors we're told is in critical condition. no word yet on the other one, jon. a faa spokeswoman says the agency is investigating to try to find out the cause of that crash. back to you. jon: so sad, rick folbaum thank you. jenna: we take you to south africa, now bombshells in the murder case against olympian oscar pistorius. he's accuse of killing his girl friend on valentine's day the pros is suffering a major below, a twist to this case.
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the lead investigator is being replaced after it was revealed he faces a momented murder charges of his own. greg palkot is live from the courthouse in south africa with more. >> reporter: that's right another strange twist in this oscar pistorius murder case. we were inside the courtroom today for day three of the bail hearing. we actually spoke with the detective in question. we asked about his performance yesterday with all that contradictory testimony, his description, so-so, an understatement. then we asked about the attempted murder charges he and other cops allegedly shooting at a minivan when they were involved in a criminal investigation in 2011. he told me he thought the charges were dropped. late today police here named a man they describe as their top detective as a replacement in the investigation. meanwhile here is a little more of what we saw in the courtroom today. take a look. the bail hearing for oscar pistorius is being heard. this is a choice seat.
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super bowl tickets were hard to fine. very few people can get these. we are here and a few others are here too. you can see the courtroom is packed with media. theuts athis is an adjournment. right behind that bank of cameras is where oscar pistorius sits and stand. folks cleared the way. we had a clear view of of him. he was doubled up: at one point crying, wiping taoerbgs hea tears. head shaking. the story is, i thought it was an intruder not his girlfriend when he fired that gun. one more haunting line from the defense attorney, if he wanted to kill her he didn't have to wait and kill the bathroom. most remarkable comment that i heard today came from his long-time trainer. he knows him well, he knew the slain girlfriend, just a few days before the incident he told
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me that pistorius told him, describing his girlfriend, she's a keeper. tomorrow the prosecutor sums up and we could finally get a decision from the judge about the immediate fate of oscar pistorius, back to you. jenna: remarkable incite from the courthouse. remarkable reporting. jon: the white house is launching a new effort against cyber stealing, this in the wake of that report linking china's military to wide-spread hacking attacks. but do the measures go far enough? we'll go in-depth on that. and he led police on a two year cross country chase stealing boats, airplanes, now the barefoot bandit is back in the news. we'll tell you why, next.
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jon: new info on crime stories we are keeping an eye on. police in philadelphia are hunting for a bank robber. he hit seven banks this month. although he is armed no one has been hurt in any of his heists. a deadly gun fight on the las vegas strip sparks a fiery crash where a taxi bursts into flame. police say bullets started flying from a black range rover at a maserati. it hit the taxi killing three people and four others are hurt police are searching for the range rover that left the scene at 4:30am. new charges against the barefoot bandit who led police on a two-year chase across the country as he stole boats and even airplanes. he is serving a seven year prison sentence after pleading
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guilty to state and federal crimes. new charges filed against him related to an airplane theft in washington state. jenna: new details on the white house's action against cyber stealing, and the measures come on the heels of a report that linked an unrelenting hacking campaign to china's military. here is how one security professional sees what is going on between china and the united states right now saying quote, if the chinese government flew planes into our air space our tphra*eupbs would excourt them away. if it happened two or three times the president would be on the phone and there would be threats of retaliation. this is happening thousands of times a day. there needs to be some definition of where the red line is and what the repercussions would be. we have the co-founder and chief technology officer at crowd strike, it's a cyber security firm. one of your colleagues made that comment. you use this as an explanation around the office to really describe what is going on out
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there. how bad is it, really when it comes to cyber threat and cyber security issues? >> well, jenna, i'm pleased to be with you. our networks of dar under relentless attack from a number of adversaries, china is the most prolific adversary. they are stealing the bed and birth of our economy, our trade negotiations. and they are leveraging that to compete in a global marketplace. we are lose be jobs, we are losing our competitive edge and that is having a real impact on our economy. jenna: let's pick up off the economy issue. some describe this as a real trade issue and economic issue. others describe it as a national security issue, an act of war. how do you see it? because that is so important as to how we respond to what is going on. >> it's most definitely a national security issue, they are stealing not just our economic advantage but very vital national security information.
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there are allegation has they have stolen the blueprints for our f35 stealth fighter the next generation jet and the stealth fighter the chinese just produced looks remarkably similar to us. we are not seeing any destructive activity. what we're seeing today is primarily theft, massive theft unprecedented in history, but nevertheless just that. our networks are not being destroyed, people are not dying and we need to put that in perspective. jenna: do you think that is next, though? >> well it's certainly a worry, perhaps not with china but with other actors like iran or north korea, they are less constrained in their actions and have a better motivation to do destructive activity to the united states. jenna: the white house came out yesterday and talked about a couple of things and not in any great amount of detail yet, talked about the justice department and the f.b.i. furthering their investigations into cyber security, potentially some finest. what is really going to protect us? >> the thing that we need to focus on the most is -- when you
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face the military unit of china as we have been over the last half of decade it's ridiculous to assume that any private company can defend against every single intrusion from a military unit or in tell generals organization like that. we need to focus on detouring these actors. what can we do through trade sanctions, diplomatic action at the highest levels of our government to tell the chinese this is unacceptable behavior and incentivize our companies to take action, civil litigation, public naming and shaming, and raise the costs and the risks for those adversaries. jenna: do you think we are too behind the eight ball. >> this activity has been going on for half a decade now and we are now coming to a realization in the private sector that it's happening. the government has been aware of it for quite some time. it's long overdue for us to be acting. at the end of the day threat deterrance is key to stopping any kind of actor from trying to
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get into our networks. jenna: i asked dmitri what does he do at home. his computer system must be awesome in the office and at home. is that true just to protect against u know, strange out burrs. >> we have an active platform that engages with the adversary. we practice what we preach and deploy the same things across our networks because we know we are a huge target. jenna: next time you're on we'll ask nor details, whatever you can share. thanks for being on the program. thanks for your incites. jon: winter weather advisories posted from the plains to the midwest right now. a wide-spread storm system expected to affect more than a dozen states before it's all said and done. we'll show you who is getting battered now and where this monster is headed. immigration reform facing unique hurdles as more than half of congress has never even taken up the issue. the latest on the immigration debate and what it will take to
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jenna: now this fox news alert. a rolling gunfight on the las vegas strip sparks a fiery crash and that's not all. a news conference is just wrapping up there. pete griffin is live in las vegas with more. >> reporter: yes, jenna. what we know now is that a black suv was shooting at a maserati this morning at around 4:20 a.m. pacific
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time. police are on the lookout for this back suv described as a new model range rover sport with large black rims, dark tinted windows and they are unsure of what state this plate originated from. but as soon as we get more details we'll send it back to you in in new york. jenna: pete griffin, thank you very much. much more to this story of course of course out of las vegas as we hear more details about what happened here. strange event. we'll keep an eye on it. jon: unbelievable. now this fox news weather alert. the central plains and the midwest getting hit hard by a deadly storm that could bring dangerous weather to nearly half of the country. it is already causing a travel nightmare on roads and at the airports as well. so where is it headed? meteorologist janice dean is live in the fox news extreme weather center. she is keeping an eye on it for us. jd? >> jon, can you believe we already received a foot of snow in parts of kansas.
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we could get upwards to two feet of snow when all said and done. the storm is just getting its act together. remember this time yesterday we were talking about the storm across california? now it is across the central u.s. bringing the potential for a foot or more across portions of kansas through nebraska, and in towards iowa. we're seeing that winterry mix as well as ice. ice on the roadways, on the trees, power lines, for arkansas, up to missouri, we could see half an inch of ice which could be extraordinarily dangerous. portions of missouri, arkansas and across the ohio river valley as this system moves eastward. the snow totals from this map, this computer model looks like 12 to 18 inches in and around the kansas city area. lighter blue, six to 12 easily. that could include the chicago area. they have not seen a lot of snow this season if you can believe it. winter weather advisories for all the areas in pink. those are winter storm
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warnings. we have ice storm warning where we could see significant icing. very dangerous. people are urged to stay off the roads where we're getting ice. there is kansas city, miss sourcery, that bull's eye where we could get 12 to 18 inches of snow. some places we're getting a snowstorm they haven't seen in last couple years. the snow plows are out, people are shovel-ready. the snow side of the storm we'll see hail, damaging wind and even tornados in the area you see in yellow. luckily no warnings yet but we'll keep you posted. we'll watch the icy mix up through missouri, illinois, into ohio into friday. we'll still be talking about this storm. john and jenna, if i could, the moisture associated with the cold front, part of that could develop into a nor'easter that could bring some heavy snow totals to new england, areas that saw one, two, three feet of snow just a couple of weeks ago.
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so, oh, it's a busy winter. it's a long winter so far right, jon? jon: gas up the snow blower. that is my recommendation. >> that's your job. jon: janice dean. keep an eye on it for us. >> will do. >> we'll turn back to washington, d.c. now. the president's claims of unprecedented transparency are facing some new criticism today. the white house press corps say they're being intentionally excluded. doug mckelway is live with more on the story. doug? >> reporter: the white house press corps feeling a little bit unloved these days after the tiger woods snub and what they contend is the white house's propensity to go over their heads. in fact yesterday the president did eight interviews with local tv news reporters. among the topics where his presidential library will go, golfing with tiger, his favorite food and being a dad. the white house denies that the president is dodging generally tougher questions posed by the white house press corps. >> when it comes to solo news conference, president obama has given 35 of those. president bush, his immediate predecessor gave
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19. >> reporter: president obama held 21 solo white house news conference to date. president bush held 15 in his term. martha kumar, a political scientist who tracks every question that journalists ask the president, president obama held previous brees availabilities announcements one-third as often as george w. bush in first term. 1907 to bush's 355. critics note that the president prefers local tv interviews, staged campaign style events and use of social plead yaw, all venues where hard-hitting questions if at all are asked. to the face the follow-up question from the someone who knows details of a problem and can put a tough spot and show the government is functioning. >> reporter: preference for messaging is hardly unique to the obama administration. technology increased administration options to bypass the white house press corps. >> they have chosen transparency up to a point. the distinct shun here on some issues they have decided we'll explain it but then you have to trust us.
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>> reporter: that is interesting, general nashs the president has not done any one-on-one interviews with the "washington post", "the new york times", or "the wall street journal" since the year 2010. jenna? jenna: doug mckelway, live in washington. doug, thank you very much for that. we'll continue to follow this transparency issue in washington a little later in the program. jonah goldering about, editor-at-large from "the national review" will weigh in with jon at the top of the next hour. jon? jon: looking forward to that. meantime president obama is pushing for swift passage of an immigration reform bill but republican leaders say congress must move methodically on this issue especially since more than half of the congress has never even debated immigration reform. let's talk with the angela mcglowan, fox news political analyst. it is kind of interesting, both the president and the congress seem to be interested in getting immigration reform done. >> yes. jon: the question is, what are they going to do with it and there are not a lot of experienced hands on the topic. >> instead of talking about
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experienced hands, being a former lobbyist they have staffers that are have specialty on immigration law. they can counsel members of the congress and leaders in the party can educate the members the. the challenge the president wants to push it through quickly for political gain. you have members of congress who want to push it through slowly to educate these members on what needs to be done. jon: for instance, marco rubio, the republican senator from florida who has been a leading voice on it from the republican side he has said what the president has put forward is dead on arrival as far as he's concerned when it comes to the senate. >> just like in 2007 when you have the mccain-kennedy bill and then you had the kyle-kennedy bill where you had challenges on both sides dealing with these pieces of legislation and where democrats and republicans voted against that. having said that, jon, we have a different dynamic today dealing with constituencies. the fact it is not the days of bush when he was trying to push his policy through.
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you have members of congress on the same page and this gang of eight. jon: republicans got pasted at the polls. mitt romney got, what, slightly over 20%. >> right, correct, of the vote. barack obama got 70%. i mean it seems like republicans are getting their feet held to the fire on this issue? >> they're getting their feet held to the fire but they have to walk lightly with this issue because they can't seem like they're race bating and actually doing immigration reform to gain the latino vote. you have people on both sides of the aisle that see the immigration policy needs to be done but they can't do it for political gain. they will fail. jon: they have to do it for good, good politics is good policy i guess? >> good policy is good politics. they are leaders. we need change. we need true change and not pushing it through, look what happened with health care, health care reform. we pushed that through and look what we got. i'm basically with the congress in moving this slowly. jon: and that could, well
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that could anger the white us who. the president wants his thing now, he wants it tomorrow. >> right. but if it is dead on arrival. it is a great politician, he will not put it forth. i think a lot of hot air is coming out of the white house right now. jon: angela mcglowan, fox news political analyst. thank you. >> thank you. jenna: we're awaiting a major ruling in the drew peterson murder case and it could be a game-changer for the former infamous police officer. we'll have more of that coming up. a deadly explosion at a kansas city restaurant. a victim is speaking out and brand new video of the moment that really changed everything. >> i thought i was going to die honestly. i thought i was trapped in there and i just kind of stood there for minute, not knowing what to do. then i saw the flames and i was scared i was going to burn up. then just with all my might i my strength. even ragu users c. prego?! but i've bought ragu for years. [ thinking ] wonder what other questionable choices i've made?
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jenna: take a look at a few stories coming up next hour
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for you. a new attempt to fix the battery problems grounding boeing's state-of-the-art dreamliner fleet. the company is ordering the machinists to redesign the containment boxes for the batteries apparently involved in a pair of fires. we'll have more on that. also jodi arias testifying about what she remembers the night she killed her boyfriend. arias returns to the stand at her murder trial offering more details to the story that has already changed several times. a survivor of the columbine school shooting reaches out to president obama urging him to reconsider his gun control proposals. in an open letter he offer as point by point analysis to the president on why the plan would be ineffective and dangerous to americans. he is our guest next hour. jon: there's new video of that deadly explosion that tore through a popular restaurant in kansas city, missouri. surveillance video cap us it the moment of ignition showing the blast that created the fast-moving
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fireball as it roared through the shopping area and turned jj's restaurant into a pile of charred rubble. one person was killed. 15 others were injured, including two that remain in critical condition. investigators believe the blast happened after a construction crew hit a natural gas line the force of the explosion, so powerful it could be felt nearly a mile away. jenna: well, right now we're awaiting the judge's ruling on drew peterson's bid for a brand new trial. as you know peterson, the former illinois police officer, is convicted of killing his third wife while under a cloud of suspicion in the disappearance of his fourth wife. drew peterson contend his former lead attorney did not adequately defend him. if the judge rejects this bid, drew peterson will move to sentencing. if the judge doesn't, maybe we're onto a new trial. steve brown outside the courthouse now with more. steve, will we hear from the man himself, drew peterson, today? >> reporter: we're told that we will, when we reach the
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sentencing phase we're giving a battering order if you will of the folks that will be speaking. we'll hear from the savio family, a couple folks give victim impact statement. and before sentencing drew peterson will speak. he has not spoken much in recent days, in which years his departure from the talktive drew peterson that first became familiar on television sets across the country when his wife number four, stacy peterson disappeared. he made multiple television appearances. there was a "people" magazine shoot on the deck in his backyard over in bolling brook. so drew peterson will be heard from before the day is out we're told. jenna? jenna: we'll wait and watch for that, steve. first the judge will have to come out and rule for this motion for a new trial. what do we know about that? >> reporter: that is judge edward vermilla. based on some of the questions he had on the motion to get a new trial there seems to be a fair amount of skepticism in the
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motion that somehow lead counsel joel brodsky was ineffective, the legal term, ineffective as lead counsel and somehow compromised for a fair trial for drew peterson. we haven't found a single legal expert in the state of illinois that gives the defense team much of a chance, yet they spent two full days in court laying out a detailed case. you can say this about the peterson legal team, they're very good at talking. jenna? jenna: well-said from someone that covered the case really from the beginning, steve. we'll watch for those news alerts today. >> reporter: you're welcome. jon: a very strange story to tell you about. it centers around a deadly fire in oklahoma. investigators say they have never seen anything like it before. no sign of what started or fueled the flames that killed one man. dr. michael baden weighs in on what looks like a case of spontaneous human combustion. [ woman ] my boyfriend and i were going on vacation,
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jenna: welcome back, everyone. we're getting some new information on a very mysterious death in oklahoma. tulsa firefighters respond todd the home of 65-year-old danny vanzandt after neighbors reported smoke coming from his windows. when they got there, the firefighters found the man's charred remains in his kitchen, with the rest of the home almost untouched by any fire, by any flames. even plastic items, very close by, were not even melted. investigators still don't know what happened here, what started the fire. the sheriff says he has never seen anything like it before. even the fire marshal is calling it a mystery. some are raising the questions, believe it or not, is this a case of spontaneous human combustion?
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big question mark there. dr. michael baden is a forensic pathologist and fox news contributor. dr. baden, what do you think? >> hi, jenna. there is no such thing as the body bursting into flame which is what spontaneous human combustion implies. this is a situation, and i've investigated a few of these cases over the years, where a person burns, dies of flame burns to the body and which the cause of the flame isn't found. it is often a cigarette butt or matchstick falls on to clothing. the clothing burns. they are often older people who have limited ability to get out of harm's way. and the, body is destroyed much more than in the usual fire. the reason for that is the skin breaks and the fat of the body starts to burn where the fire originally
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started on the outside clothes. and there are a number of places in the kitchen where he was that could cause ignition. jenna: dr. bauden, how would the fire not spread? >> well fires burn vertically. they burn upwards and these fires, usually smolder. the, remember, you're too young, jenna, original. jenna: thank you, dr. baden. >> the original candles were made out of animal fat because animal fat burns very slowly. it kind of smolders. that is what happens to the body as the fat of the body starts to burn. fires don't spread laterally. they only spread upwards. it stays in the one area and doesn't destroy the rest of the house, and it doesn't destroy nearby furniture and --. jon: dr. baden, in this case there was no cigarette butt or anything found next to the body. >> that is because the fire destroys, when the fire
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destroys the thing that ignites it, a match, a older person trying to light something in the kitchen with a match or smoking a cigarette and ashes drop down on clothing, the clothing will start, the fire will cause the skin to separate as it chars, and then the fat becomes the source of the fire continuing. it is called a wick effect. and because it burns slowly, it smolders, is it doesn't spread sideways and it causes much more damage to the dead body than an ordinary fire would. jon: so what goes on the death certificate here as the cause of death? >> i would put down the cause of death as death to fire with carbon monoxide and flail burn inhalation and flame burns. source undetermined. we don't know the cause of it but it isn't a mystery. jenna: that was one of the
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final questions for you, dr. baden, because we were looking at this story and all sorts of questions are raised. have you ever been in a situation in your professional experience where you just can't explain something? there is no explanation, it truly is a mystery? >> sure, absolutely. that is why we have on the death certificate undetermined cause of death which are one or 2% of deaths in the united states, the cause is undetermined. here we know the person died of the fire. what we don't know is the cause of the fire. jenna: sure. >> and that's the mystery. not the fact that there was a fire. we know the cause of death but not what caused it. jenna: dr. baden, great to have your expertise. >> thank you, jenna. jenna: i'm very relieved of all the things we have to worry about spontaneous combustion is not one of them. leads us into the weekend feeling better. dr. bauden, thank you. jon: the local sheriff quoted as saying, you would think somebody poured some flammable accelerant on him or something but there is no
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evidence of that. jenna: strange. >> so it's very, very weird. basically a burned body in the kitchen and, nothing else. jenna: we'll let our viewers decide what they really think about that. jon: well, right now gas prices are soaring to record levels for this time of year. so why the increase now? rick folbaum is checking it for us. rick? >> blame it on the refineries. aaa says one of the reason gas prices are spiking earlier than usual because refinerys are starting to perform seasonal maintenance. higher crude prices could be a factor. whatever the feeling reason we're feeling it all in our wallets. prices are already ahead of levels at this time last year. in fact the national average has been creeping up for 35 consecutive days. it is $3.75 a gallon. that is a record for month of february. prices traditionally jump this time of year but aaa says this jump is larger and
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faster than it has in the past. hawaii and california the only two above the $4 a gallon mark. illinois, connecticut, d.c., illinois and michigan not too far behind. this is the top ten, factoring the nation's capitol which technically isn't a state of course. while prices are going up now, the price peak in the spring is not expected to be as high as it was back in 2011 and 2012 when the national average hovered right around that $4 a gallon mark. back to you. jon: i filled up last night. it was $4.09 for regular. 4.49 for premium self-serve. >> that's a lot. that's a lot. jon: thanks, rick. jenna: the arizona woman accused of brutally murdering her lover says she doesn't remember a great deal of this.
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eastern rockies all the way out to illinois. schools are out, sporting events rescheduled, even lawmakers taking the day off. the latest on what could be a dangerous weather system coming through. also, the murder suspect, jodi arias, wrapping up her wild testimony including the claim she has no memory of stabbing her ex-boyfriend, except she stabbed him 27 times. also new this hour, a possible fix to boeing's overheating battery problem on the company's new dreamliner aircraft. we've got this brand new development for you. all of that and breaking news as the second hour of "happening now" starts right now. jon: first up, we are tracking a powerful and massive winter storm that is gaining strength right now as it barrels across the central plains and the midwest. it's brand new hour of "happening now." welcome, i'm jon scott. jenna: and it's a big storm, that's for sure a. hi, everybody, i'm jenna lee, and millions are bracing for what some fear could be the
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worst storm in two years. winter warnings and watches have been issued from new mexico all the way to virginia, and this is the scene in kansas; snow and freezing rainmaking for dangerous driving conditions there. several accidents reported on air roadways -- area roadways. also the snow throwing golfers for a loop in arizona, of all places. officials forced to suspend the first round of a major golf tournament for obvious reasons. as you can see on your screen, several schools also reporting closure as well. folks in missouri could get the worst of the storm, it's dumping huge amounts of snow in the northern part of the state and dangerous sleet and ice in the south. big concerns over what this means for power lines, of course, as they get coated and the storm gets worse. claudia cowan is in the middle of it in kansas city, missouri. claudia? >> reporter: yeah, jenna, kansas city, where the mayor has declared a state of emergency because, as you can see, it is dumping. snow removal teams simply cannot keep up. we've had about 6 inches of snow in the past couple of hours
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including thunder and lightning and as many had feared, we are seeing scattered power outagings. and the thursday morning commute, well, it was just a mess with numerous reports of of accidents and spinouts. you know, the folks in this region have not seen these severe winter storm conditions for the past couple of years, and now many are spending the morning digging out and trying not to slip. meantime, public works crews are towing away stranded cars, getting them off the roads. they're also trying to treat the streets with sand and salt solutions to combat the icy slush. and now snowplows are really trying to stay ahead of the mess and keep up with an estimated snowfall of about 2 inches an hour. take a listen. >> grunt work makes all the difference. the sooner you can get in there and get things on the street surface so that the snow doesn't stick or what does stick is easily moved away, the easier things are going to be. >> reporter: all public schools and many businesses are
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closed today. take a look at downtown here. it's a virtual ghost town. the kansas city airport just closed as well because the snow removal teams that were trying to keep at least one runway open, they couldn't can see each other through the blinding snow. so that airport is closed at least until tonight. jenna and jon, you know, along with the ice and the slush, whiteout conditions also a big concern. transportation officials in kansas now reporting zero visibility from the oklahoma border to wichita, and they've really just asking folks to stay off the roads. wise advice today. back to you. jenna: wow. it is really coming down there, that's for sure. claudia, thank you very much. a deadly storm, as we mentioned, already one person died in this. it's moving across the country. chief meteorologist rick reichmuth is watching all this action from the fox weather center. he'll bring us updates as we get them. jon: some new information now on the deep spending cuts that congress has just eight days left if it wants to avoid them,
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the billions of dollars in possible cuts we're told could have a devastating impact on workers at defense contractors in states like virginia. national security correspondent jennifer griffin live from the pentagon with more on that. >> reporter: today the deputy defense secretary, jon, warned by the end of the year two-thirds of all army units will not be ready to fight other wars, and there won't be enough money to put out to sea a third of the navy ships. the warning comes one day after the pentagon told congress it is going to have to furlough half of its 800,000-civilian workers. the hardest-hit states, california and virginia. our team went to hampton roads, virginia, yesterday. tom taylor owns a ship repair business there. >> it's not like turning on a spigot. you don't turn it on, turn it off, you know? if it's canceled, these things are months or years in the planning stage, so if they are canceled, you know, they don't come right back, you know? so that's pretty alarming.
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>> i want to know when am i looking -- am i getting laid off in march or april? you're one of those people who are living paycheck to paycheck, then you're, you have no secondary plan, and that's going to be horrible, it's going to cause a lot of stress. >> i'm very concerned about the economy here. it could be devastating. i went through this in california where we took huge defense cuts, and it decimated the economy in sacramento. >> reporter: ironically, one of the pentagon offices that will be hardest hit by the civilian layoffs is the budget office where civilians right now are working around the clock to figure out who gets furloughed and how to deal with the budget cuts. they will be among those who are told not to come to work after march 1st if congress doesn't act. jon: jennifer griffin reporting live from the pentagon. it's going to be an interesting week. jennifer, thank you. jenna: and consider that when we tell you this. just breaking now, news that iran is ratcheting up its
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nuclear program just before major talks are about to take place. the u.n. watchdog group, the iaea, reporting just moments ago that iran is installing advanced centrifuges at its main enrichment plant only days before world powers are resuming these long-awaited talks with iran. joining us now by phone, mark garrett who now works for the defense for -- the foundation fr the defense of democracy. what does this news mean? >> the iranians have been telling us for a bit now that they, in fact, had perfected these advance centrifuges, and they are now going to show us. and they intend to demonstrate, i think convincingly, that they can up the ante, that they can produce more enriched uranium more rapidly and thereby, essentially i think, shut down the notion that they're going to give up their uranium
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enrichment. jenna: so the technology here would allow them to really move towards nuclear weapons faster if that's what they intend to do. of course, the united states believes that, iran says it's only moving towards nuclear power. this is happening right before, i mean, this report comes out right before these talks are supposed to take place. diplomacy again, a chance at that, how do you think this news affects those talks? >> well, i don't think it's fundamentally affecting them because i think the supreme leader has said quite clearly that he has no intention of making any significant concession. in these talks. so i think that was sort of foreclosed. i think this is just one more piece of evidence that the iranians intend to move forward, and they're quite serious about maintaining a capacity for enrichment and also being able to up that enrichment to 5% and beyond quite quickly. jenna: how does this affect the
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so-called red line drawn either by the israelis or referred to by the united states? >> well, it's extremely hard to find that red line now. i mean, what the iranians have said is they've said that they don't intend to use these new centrifuges and enrich beyond 5%. now, that can be monitored to some extent by the iaea, but what this allows them to do is, one, increase the capacity of 5% enriched uranium substantially and thereby be in the position if they choose to enrich it further more rapidly. so i think what we're going to see is them swap out the old less efficient centrifuges, replace them with these new efficient centrifuges, and we'll essentially watch this under our noses. and then they'll just have the stockpile continue to grow. jenna: a big question about where they're getting this new, advanced technology. or maybe the question isn't so big. we know some of those partners.
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it's a story we're going to continue to watch especially over the next several days and weeks. thanks for the reaction to that breaking news. >> my pleasure. jon: well, you remember the maytag repair guy, the lonely repairman who just didn't have any work to do? that's how many in the white house press corps are feeling these days, largely ignored by president obama as he gives interviews to local tv stations and today to liberal talk radio hosts. what's going on? jonah goldberg is along to explain. plus, a bombshell in the oscar pistorius murder case. the lead investigator replaced after it's revealed he himself is facing seven counts of attempted murder. what that big shock-up means for the case against the blade runner. [ loud party sounds ] hi, i'm ensure clear... clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've gotine grams of protein. that's three times more than me! [ female announcer ] ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat.
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in blueberry/pomegranate and peach.
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♪ jon: well, right now president obama is continuing his bypass of the white house press corps
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as he hammers republicans over looming budget cuts. today it is radio day, the president taping interviews with al sharpton, joe madison and yolanda adams, all hosts of shows with predominantly african-american audiences. yesterday it was interviews at the white house with reporters from eight local television stations. a white house reporter for real clear politics grumbling she is feeling like a seagull these days feeding off of crumbs. jonah goldberg is editor at large for the national review and a fox news contributor as well. jonah, i read where you kind of think this makes sense for the white house to do it this way. is that true? >> yeah. well, look, it's a sequester strategy. it's a strategy that, um, presidents before barack obama have used to go over the heads of the mainstream media, to to go over the heads of the white house press corps and get their core message out, gin up phone calls to congressmen's offices.
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it's sort of the electronic version of going out on the campaign -- [inaudible] what i find weird about it is that this president has the most fawning, sick santaic press corps since at least jfk. george bush had to do it because the white house press corps hated husband guts and was -- hated his guts and was incredibly unfair to him. why obama feels he had to go over the heads of the national press when he admits that he gets the best treatment from "60 minutes" is beyond me. jon: well, you know, the presidential time is very precious. so people should not be surprised, i guess, if they don't see the president sitting down with "the washington post" or "the new york times" or even our ed henry. instead, we see local anchors from places like wichita, kansas, palate more, san antonio -- baltimore, san antonio, that's who he's talking to these days. why?
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because those are markets that have, you know, big defense contractors and maybe they're not going to ask him necessarily the tougher questions that he'd get from the white house press corps? >> well, i think that's, obviously, part of it. i mean, the local newscasters, you know, always love to ask these sort of human interest stories, they're always sort of jazzed about the mere fact that they're with the president. the reporter from real clear politics pointed out that the white house is very adept at bringing bo the dog out which will eat up a good two minutes of anybody's interview time as they all sort of fawn over the dog. reporters from hawaii get to ask hawaii-related questions. it's all sort of soft media cult of percentalty stuff, and i think -- personality stuff, and i think that's very useful. get his popularity up so people take his word for it about these sort of idiotic claims about what the sequester will do and how it's all the republicans' fault. jon: yeah, the honolulu anchor asked questions about where his
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presidential library is going to be. is there a chance that hawaii will get his first, its first presidential library. smart politics, i guess, if you're the white house. >> yeah, no, look, i mean, and that's what this is -- this is a pure political play. i understand why it drives the white house press corps nuts, but you would think, you know, the white house press corps if it's going to be treated like this by obama anyway, it might as well ask some really tough questions, you know, for their own integrity. but as it sands, this is what -- as it stands, this is what white houses do. you're right, presidential time is precious. every minute he is wasting on the national press corps is a minute he could be out on the golf course. jon: yeah, that reporter you mentioned earlier says she's been at the white house for years covering various presidents, and she feels like she's picking at crumbs because she has to go running up to local anchors saying, what did he say, what did he say? >> and i think, again, the weird
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thing about this is, i guess this happens to all second terms is where they get a little bunkered, they want to control their message, they don't trust the national press corps. but i can't -- can you think of a national news media story with the exception of sort of fox news on benghazi, but can you think of a national press story where nbc or abc really bit the white house's hand, really burned them on something? why these guys are going nixon paranoid about the white house press corps i kind of find baffling given what a free ride they've had for so long. jon: i have a feeling it'll be a while before you get your one-on-one with the president. >> i suspect you're right. [laughter] jon: jonah goldberg, thank you. >> thank you. jenna: up next, a survivor of the columbine school shooting weighs in on the gun debate. why he says the proposed policies on gun control will not help prevent tragedies like columbine. he's going to join us live just ahead with his take. plus, new developments in
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the jodi arias murder trial today. what she now says about killing her lover. >> i remember dropping the knife, and it clinged to the tile, it made a big noise. and i just remember screaming. i don't remember anything after that. [ woman ] when you own your own business,
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jon: the arizona woman charged with brutally murdering her boyfriend five years ago now says she has very little recollection of the gruesome details of the actual murder. jodi arias testifying that she doesn't remember stabbing her lover 27 times or slitting his throat during a fight at his home. here's jodi detailing the only thing she does recall, the moment she shot him.
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>> i grabbed the gun, i ran out of the closet. he was chasing me. i turned around. we were in the middle of the bathroom. i pointed it at him with both of my hands. i thought that would stop him. if someone were pointing a gun at me, i would stop. but he just kept running. he got like a linebacker, he got kind of low and grabbed my waist. before he did that, he was lunging at me, the gun went off. i didn't mean to shoot him or anything, i didn't i didn't evei was holding the trigger, i just was pointing it at him. and i didn't even know that i shot him. jon: well, since the beginning of this trial, jodi arias has claimed she was a victim of abuse. listen to the exchange when questioned in court about the stabbing. >> let me ask you this, do you remember stabbing travis alexander? >> i have no memory of stabbing him.
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>> do you remember as we see here in exhibit 162, do you remember dragging him across the floor? >> no. i just remember trying to get away from him. jon: joining us now, lawyers who have been inside that courtroom this week. monica lindstrom is a criminal defense attorney, duane cates, also a criminal defense attorney. monica, how is she doing? >> well, for a while there i thought that she was doing okay, i thought that she was getting some credibility with the jury by telling her details after details, but as soon as she got to the killing and she partnershipped that she --
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feigned that she has no memory whatsoever other than what we just heard, i thought, wow, she has just lost any i credibility that she might have gained with this jury because with all these details before, now all of a sudden she doesn't have any details. so they better have an expert come on to talk about that these blackouts or this lack of memory supports her abuse theory, or otherwise she's just got nothing right now, and as a prosecutor, i would be loving it. jon: i have a feeling they could find such an expert. duane, what do you think? i mean, has she done herself any service by her testimony? >> well, i think she has. you've got to remember that we're trying to -- the defense is trying to win a war, just not trying to win a battle. but with regard to the memory loss, you know, everybody has agreed basically that jodi air rahs being 120-pound woman and travis being a 200-pound man that she would have to have a tremendous amount of adrenaline coarsing through her in order to
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drag travis down the hall, pick him up, put him in the shower. and when you have that much adrenaline going through your body, you experience what's called a whiteout. i've experienced it myself. i used to ride bulls. and when you first start out, you know, there's so much adrenaline, you get overload, and everything goes white x you don't remember a thing that would. they're going to get an expert to say that's what happened. jon: duane, we'll put that in your intre next tomb, lawyer, former bull writer. monica, what about the story of the gun though? she claims that, you know, she shot him, she doesn't remember stabbing him, then she gets in the car, drives out into the desert, throws the gun away, washes the blood off of her hands with a bottle of water from the car. how does that all fit into this? >> you know, from the prosecutor's side i could care less what she has said because she didn't give any details about the actual killing. she gave me no explanation. the jury didn't hear anything
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about really what she was thinking or why she did what she did. so i take that into just one side of my brain, and now i focus on cross. i focus on the points i want to make. i, through my questions, i'm making my points. i'm reminding the jury that she stabbed him 29 times even though she doesn't remember it. i'm reminding the jury that she slit his throat, she shot him after he was already dead. so i don't care what her explanations were. she is already a proven liar, so i'm making my points to remind the jury, hey, she's guilty of premeditated murder. find her guilty, and not only that, sentence her to death. jon: duane, the shooting and the stabbing, i mean, you know, she's saying that he was crouching at her, he was about to -- yeah, he was about to jump, and that's why she had to shoot him. but how does that fit in with the stabbing and the throat slashing here? >> well, nobody agrees when anything happened.
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the defense says that she shot first and stabbed later, the prosecution says that she shot him at the end which makes absolutely no sense as to why you would shoot somebody when they're already dead. so nobody really knows exactly what the sequence of events were, and neither does jodi arias. you've got to remember, this is, the state's got to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she killed him and that it was not self-defense. there were only two people in the room that night. only two people know what happened, and one of them's dead. jon: well, and she was asked about a statement she made on television about this case. i want to play ha -- that for you and get a quick reaction. >> let me first ask you this comment no jury would convict you, why did you say that? >> objection -- [inaudible] >> overruled. >> well, you can't convict a
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dead person, and i wanted -- i planned to be dead long before this ever even got close to trial. that was my hope. jon: okay. so she's giving television interviews saying, you know, no jury would ever convict me of this case, and what's really going on in the back of her head is she's going to, you know, at some time after this interview is done, she's going to off herself. monica, does that make any sense? >> you know, that could very well be the truth, but what we seem to forget is i believe she says no jury will convict me because i am innocent. so even though her explanation might sound okay, it doesn't jibe with the second part when she says because i'm innocent. and is through all of her explanations, she always tried to say, oh, i i cared about travis, i cared about him, i didn't want people to think this about him. but in every explanation she's talking about how she felt, how selfish she was, how calculating she was. she wanted to throw people off of her path, that she didn't
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want anybody to know she did it. so her language patterns and her vocabulary are really going against her here. jon: all right. let's turn our attention -- >> jon? jon: yeah, duane, real quickly. >> well, she did explain it. she said that there were guards sitting next to her, so she couldn't -- she had to to say it was because she was innocent because she couldn't really explain why she was doing it, or she'd have ended up in a padded cell. jon: all right. it all sounds mighty strange to me, but we'll see what this jury decides. let's turn our attention to another bombshell in the oscar pistorius murder case. a new lead investigator has just been appointed after it was revealed that the first is facing attempted murder charges himself. it's raising serious questions about the prosecution's case against to olympic track star to star known to the world as the blade runner charged with premeditated murder in the death of his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp.
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what about that, duane? this case couldn't get any weirder, but all of a sudden the prosecutor, the lead investigator is brought up on charges of seven counts of attempted murder? >> yeah, it's never good when you're a prosecutor, and your ih attempted murder. and they did the right thing. i mean, earlier today they finally took him off the case and replaced him with a current officer. but -- a different officer. but, you know, that's going to call -- he's going to at some point have to testify, and they get to cross-examine him about having these charges against him. and, i mean, it's got to hurt their case tremendously. i mean, i believe that they're going to have trouble with first-degree murder anyway, but this is just going to make it worse. jon: monica, your quick thoughts? >> yeah. as a prosecutor, i'm looking at this saying, oh, my god, are you kidding me? so i want to stop the bleeding. i'm probably going to give an offer to something less because when your lead investigator has challenges like this, he loses all credibility. as a defense attorney, i'm like,
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whoo hoo, i've got all kinds of stuff that i can go after the state with now, and i can get my client a better offer because of this lead investigator and because he was involved in this sloppy police work. jon: let's see what kind of justice coming -- comes out of both of these cases with, unfortunately, dead victims at the suspect of them. monica, duane, thank you both. >> thank you. >> thanks, jon. jenna: new inspiration in the aftermath of a devastating natural disaster. a small business owner explains how he recovered after losing nearly everything in that massive joplin, missouri, tornado. also, so much to talk about when it comes to preventing gun violence at our schools. a survivor of the columbine massacre will tell us why he believes the president's gun control proposal will not work. he joins us next. oh!
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♪ jenna: well, some new backlash against the's gun control plan today. a survivor from the columbine high school shooting is now speaking out in opposition arguing that the president's proposed initiatives simply won't work. you may remember, of course, colorado's columbine massacre in 1999. two students roaming the school shooting and killing 13 people, 12 of them students and one a teacher. dozens of others were injured. in an open letter to the president, one of those survivors, evan todd, writes this. quote:
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jenna: the writer of this letter, survivor of columbine evan todd, joins me now. evan, it's quite a letter, and you bring a very unique perspective to this conversation. and if you would, can you bring us back to that day in high school, and what happened to you on that day? tell us about that. >> are well, during the shootings at kohl up um wine, i was in the library. i was the first student that was targeted. shot at, hit in the back once and then two other shots went over my head and blew shrapnel back into my face. the murders came in -- murderers came in, and that's when 10 students and 20 some other
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students were injured. after all that happened, they came back around to where i was hiding under a desk and put guns to my head and asked why they shouldn't kill me. and that's when i told them i'd been good to them and everyone in the school and they knew it. after a few moments they decided to let me live, and they left the library at that time, and that's when i got out. jenna: i'm sure our viewers feel the same way i do reasoning to that story, is that our hearts start just racing just hearing about it. we can't even imagine going through that type of experience. how would you say that has changed your life? >> it's changed my life in a lot of ways, but one is, you know, i'm obviously more attuned to the political debates and the cultural problems, and it's something that i've dedicated a large portion of my life since to, um, you know, focus on some of these things and try to avoid
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these kinds of situations in the future with, you know, different things that i do with speaking about character development and transport respect for -- and respect for life and motivating students across the country. jenna: so let's talk about this letter to the president. this is just one of the things that you mentioned that you've done. why did you write this letter, and tell our viewers who maybe haven't read it yet what do you think are the key points? what do you really want to get out will and into the national conversation? -- out there and into the national conversation? >> well, yeah. i wrote the letter because i was getting interviewed by a friend of mine, an editor at the blaze.com, old friend, we go back 14 years. he knew my situation, and we worked together before and asked me several different questions, and one of them was if you got to talk to president obama, what would you say to him? and that was in an e-mail, so i started typing, and that's how the letter came to be.
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i sent it to him, and he published it as an open letter for me. and the key points that i wanted to make were point by point the initiatives that the president and a lot in washington and the lobbyists are trying to pass are going to be more of a detriment than a help. they're not protecting the kids, they're infringing on, you know, law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and they're really, they're taking away from what really needs to happen. first, we need to protect our children. these kids and teachers are, you know, it's happened time and time again where a murderous student or somebody else goes into a school that they call gun-free zones, and these are just target-rich environments for these people that want to murder unimpeded for a good amount of time before somebody stops them. jenna: you know, evan, if i
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could jump in there because we actually spoke to one of the president's cabinet members last week, the secretary of education, arne duncan, and he actually pointed to columbine as an example because there was an armed guard at your high school as an example, essentially, that having a gun won't stop gun violence. and i'm curious on that one issue, what's your opinion on that? >> well, yeah. columbine did have one security officer with a gun, and that's not at all what i'm saying. i'm saying that citizens, teachers, parents, volunteers, you know, licensed to have ccw, cared concealed weapons permits, should be allowed to carry on school properties. there'll be more opportunities. i don't want to put all my faith in one person because, you know, if you have more, you know, law-abiding citizens that are, that can do, that can protect themselves and others, then the chances are greater that they'll stop a murderer from murdering. jenna: and that's the one
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solutioning you say -- one of the one solutions you see -- >> yeah. jenna: -- for keeping our children safe. evan, a provocative letter. just real quick, how can viewers get in touch with you? are you on twitter? social media? >> yeah. you can find me at pathufind.com, and i'm also on twitter @evanmtodd. jenna: i'm sure some would like to continue this conversation with you, and we would love to have you back on the program, evan. thank you so much for the time today. >> thanks, jenna. jon: what a story. of there's a potential fix now for boeing's troubled dreamliner. the company's new move that could help put the planes back in service. that would be good for the country, bottom line. plus, snow, hail and maybe even tornadoes in february. the massive storm walloping so much of america today. what you need to know and where it is headed. great, everybody made it.
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jon: take a live look at the dow as we get some new economic numbers. the dow down about 80 points right now. the labor department now saying the number of americans seeking jobless benefits jumped by 20,000 last week. that brought the total number to 362,000. despite the increase, the number of people applying for benefits remains at a level consistent with modest hiring. that brings us to our spotlight on small business in this week. we talk with entrepreneurs and small business owners who are managing to survive and even thrive in this very tough economy. our guest today had to contend with nature's fury as well as the economic situation. back many 2011 a massive -- in 2011 a massive tornado virtually wiped out the town of joplin,
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missouri. like joplin itself, the business is making a huge comeback. paul comstead is the co-owner and gym manager of amplified gymnastics. he joins us now by phone. paul, we said that it's a comeback, but in a way it isn't because you weren't even open when the tornado struck. you had build this business, you were getting ready to open your doors, and the tornado wiped you out. isn't that how it happened? >> yeah, that's right. um, actually, we were a week out from our grand opening when the tornado hit, so we had about a year worth of prep and then had to start all the way over. jon: yeah. that had to feel awful. i mean, all the planning, all the planning, all the -- we're looking at before and after pictures, by the way, of your business. before and after, you know, you're just ready to open, you've spent all this money, you've got things ready to go, and you got flattened. >> oh, yeah. we had, actually, like i said,
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we were a week away from the grand opening, so when it happened, you know, so much goes through your mind. is the economy going to come back, do people still want this kind of service, and without any kind of business history, we really weren't sure how we were going to convince someone that we still had a viable business. and so it, it was -- took a long time to think about whether or not we even wanted to try to do it again. jon: well, you know, i'm curious because two of my girls, my two girls both took gymnastics lessons, and it's great sport. but after a time when your town has been wiped out, how do you -- it had to be tough to -- >> yeah. jon: -- decide, you know, would families still want this kind of thing? >> yeah. that's exactly what we were wondering. i'm getting asked to do all these news programs after the tornado, and it was -- [inaudible] i realized, you know, one thing people are still prioritizing are their kids, and a lot of the
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kids were looking for a sense of normalcy, and the parents wanted that for their kids during that time. after about a month that's when i realized, wow, this is still something that the community really needs and that i thought the community would get behind. jon: well, good for you in getting it up and running again. we understand you've got a waiting list of kids now. you've surpassed your expect talkingses, and you've hired 20 people -- expectations, and you've hired 20 people, so great news all the wround. amplified gymnastics, joplin, missouri, congratulations. thanks for joining us today. >> thank you very much. jenna: well, new efforts at boeing to address serious safety concerns over its dreamliner. rick has more on this. rick? >> reporter: well, boeing's' trying to get those dreamliners up in the air, and with good reason. having them grounded has cost the airplane maker more than a billion dollars. but first boeing engineers have had to come up with a fix to the problem of the plane's overheating batteries, and now the company says it has several ideas. first and four most, boeing says
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it's developed a box to hold the lithium ion batteries, a sort of case that could fix the problems that have led to fires in a dreamliner parked in boston as well as a second case that forced another dreamliner to make an emergency landing. boeing's designed its fleet with those lithium ion batteries because they're lighter, more powerful, but they also tend to get hot. officials will meet tomorrow. if all goes well, the airplanes could get the green light to start flying again by april. back to you. jenna: rick, thank you. jon: there are some new developments in the effort to track down the terrorists who murdered those four americans in benghazi. why american investigators are again being denied access to a high-profile suspect, this time by a country that's supposed to be one of our key allies? when you have diabetes... your doctor will say get smart about your weight. i tried weight loss plans...
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jon: "happening now," a new road block in the investigation into the benghazi terror attack that left our ambassador and three other americans dead. we're learning egypt has denied american investigators access to the only suspect believed to be in custody. and this is hardly the first time the u.s. has been rebuffed in its attempts to speak to a key suspect. our chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge has more on that live from washington now. catherine? >> reporter: fox news has learned that the u.s. has been denied direct access to the suspect held by the egyptians since the end of last year. direct access in this case means that u.s. interrogators have not been able to sit down in the same room and ask the suspect their own questions. abu ahmed is connected to al-zawahiri, and this relationship goes back to the '90s. experts who track al-qaeda in
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north africa say he is a player. >> as early as 2011, he established training camps in eastern libya, and they were drawing in recruits from around north africa and egypt to bring them in, train them in terms of how to operate, you know, mortars and various types of heavy around artillery, and it's that type of artillery that was used in benghazi. >> reporter: abu ahmed is not suspected of taking direct part in that attack. this is at least the second time u.s. interrogators have been denied access to to a suspect held by a foreign government. it took the intervention of republican senator lindsey graham for the fbi to get access to a suspect who was suspected of taking part in the attack itself. despite these access issues, officials who are not authorized to comment on the record about this particular case insisted the egyptian authorities have been providing to the u.s. useful information from their own investigation of ahmed, but
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that does not change the fact investigators have been unable to ask their own questions, jon. jon: this from a country that gets hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid from the united states. >> reporter: well, there's that detail too. jon: catherine herridge, thank you. jenna: game on now in the jodi arias case. the defense has rested, the prosecution is now asking questions. you can see simply by the body language it's a little different tone than when the defense was talking. we're keeping an eye on this. right after the break we'll play a little bit about what these guys are talking about. >> not in utah. from the hoover dam or right before the checkpoint. >> so when did you know that he was dead? tell me that. >> well, i got confirmation on --
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